Atomic Show #228 – Energiewende status

On November 18, 2014, I participated in a round table discussion hosted by the Global American Business Institute (GABI) and the Korea Institute of Energy Research (KIER). The guest speaker for the round table was Georg Maue, First Secretary for Climate and Energy, Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Washington, DC. The topic of his talk was Energiewende Today: Status of Germany’s Energy Transition.

As explained by my hosts when I obtained permission to use my recording of the discussion for an Atomic Show podcast, all of the round tables that GABI hosts are “on the record.”

There were approximately 20 people in who participated in the discussion. The speaker gave us permission to ask questions at any point during the presentation, which led to a reasonably lively discussion by people with questioning attitudes and curious minds.

There were a number of apparent nuclear energy supporters in the room. During the discussions after the meeting, I made a number of useful contacts.


When you listen to the audio, pay close attention to the woman with the German accent who has a different view of energy than the one promoted by the German government. It was refreshing to hear her insightful questions.

I took several key pieces of information away from this discussion:

  • The Energiewende calculations include an assumption that the German population will shrink by 10% before 2050.
  • Calculations assume a 50% improvement in energy efficiency; Germany is not on track to meet that challenging goal.
  • The representative of the German government who spoke thought it would be fantastic if the market would choose Russian gas over German lignite.
  • The German government claims that market decisions are the most important factor in the course of the Energiewende given the preexisting condition that the government has imposed the nuclear phase out policy and implemented several policies that strongly support sanctioned energy sources like solar and wind.
  • Germany would prefer to import hard coal than import the same energy equivalent in uranium.
  • Biofuels count as “zero carbon” and “renewable” in the Energiewende.

My ability to attend this meeting was assisted by generous Atomic Insights readers and Atomic Show listeners who have provided financial contributions and other support that helps to keep traveling costs within reach. If you like the show and would like to hear more like it, please make a value-for-value contribution using the button below.

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